Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Finding joy

Words of wisdom from Mary de Muth for putting joy into our lives. So simple, so practical, so helpful.

"Debbie (or Donald!) Downer would say: that person betrayed me.
Joy would say: Because that person hurt me, I am more apt to run to Jesus in prayer for her, for me.

Debbie Downer would say: I will never succeed at this dream.

Joy would say: In my weakness, I'll place this dream at the feet of Jesus and let it go. It'll be an adventure to see what happens next.
Debbie Downer would say: I am a failure.

Joy would say: I failed at this thing, but it doesn't mean I'm a failure. Because of Jesus, I am loved and worthy and set free.

Debbie Downer would say: This illness will never improve.

Joy would say: I don't know whether or not this illness will leave or stay, but I can ask God to teach me more about His empathetic ways through this trial, and I can always, always grow closer to Him through my suffering.

Debbie Downer would say: The money worries are only mounting.

Joy would say: God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Even if I went bankrupt, I would still have God with me, which is always better than things. Besides, this financial worry increases my reliance on God, and it makes me more empathetic toward those with money struggles.

Debbie Downer would say: This situation is unfair. I was misunderstood and taken advantage of.

Joy would say: It hurts to be misunderstood and taken advantage of, but in this painful place, I have an ally. Jesus absolutely understands what it's like to be misunderstood and taken advantage of.

Debbie Downer would say: I am utterly alone.

Joy would say: My relationships may have faded, and it makes me very sad, but I will always have Jesus with me. It is a fixed truth I can rely on.

Oh how I resemble dear Debbie Downer!

But today, as I write this, I'm dethroning her and sticking JOY in her place.

10 Ways to find joy
, to Dethrone Debbie or Donald Downer:

1. Memorize 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

2. Get in the habit of stepping back, then asking, "What can I see about this situation that is the exact opposite of the way I'm perceiving it?"

3. Ask God to remind you when you're walking down the downer path. Be brave to share your bent toward negativity with a friend who will pray for you and ask you occasionally how you're doing in this battle.

4. Take a walk. Changing your place and getting outside (and the act of walking) helps re-set you.

5. Grab a piece of paper and write down ten things you are thankful for.

6. Find someone who has a difficult situation and tangibly help THEM. (Write a card, email, send a gift, say a word of encouragement.)

7. Turn on your favorite worship song and sing louder than Debbie Downer!

8. Draw a picture of what your life would look like if joy was at the center.

9. Get on your knees and pray, asking God to lift the weight of disappointment from you.

10. Make cookies, then give some away."

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